Further characterizations of the nature of the behavioral and neurochemical effects of lesions to the nucleus basalis of meynert in the rat

Harvey J. Altman, Richard D. Crosland, Donald J. Jenden, Robert F Berman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

80 Scopus citations

Abstract

-Converging lines of evidence indicate an important role for the basal forebrain cholinergic system in memory processes. The principal origin of the cholinergic projection to the neocortex appears to be the magnocellular neurons in the region of the nucleus basalis of Meynert (NbM). We examined the effects of bilateral lesions of the NbM on retention of shock avoidance training by stereotaxically injecting rats with 0.5 μl of ibotenic acid (14 μg//gm1) into the NbM. Two weeks later rats were given passive avoidance training and tested for retention of the original avoidance habit 5 min, 30 min, or 24 hr later. Rats with lesions of the NbM showed significantly impaired shock avoidance performance compared to non-operated controls at both 30 min and 24 hr, but not at 5 min after training. Lesioned animals also showed a significant decrease in cortical choline acetyltransferase (CAT) and acetylcholinesterase (AChE) activities. No differences in muscarinic receptor binding or plasma cholinesterase activity was observed. The results demonstrate the usefulness of NbM lesions as a model for studying the role of the basal forebrain cholinergic system in memory processes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)125-130
Number of pages6
JournalNeurobiology of Aging
Volume6
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1985
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • AChE
  • CAT
  • Memory
  • NbM
  • Passive avoidance
  • Rat

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Neurology
  • Psychology(all)

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